After watching and studying the Denver Broncos 2-0 start to the season, here is my scouting report on them heading into their battle with the Baltimore Ravens:
Lining up the Denver Broncos offense
The Denver Broncos offense throws a lot of different formations and personnel sets at you. Their tight ends (Jake Butt and Jeff Heurman) are very involved in the offense. The Broncos use Huerman mostly as a blocking tight end. The tight ends line up all over the place, and are sometimes used as fullbacks.
The two most common looks that the Broncos displayed in week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks and week 2 against the Oakland Raiders, are a balanced two tight end set and their 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE). When the Broncos motion one of their tight ends and stack them, it is usually a run play to that side. There is a lot going on in the backfield, with many of the motions being decoys or attempts to make the defense show their hand. The Broncos like to stack their receivers in a tight trips bunch formation, to make man coverage a little more challenging.
How the Broncos like to attack:
The Broncos main feature is their running game. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are their main backs, while Devontae Booker can impress. Lindsay is an explosive play-maker and a downhill runner. When he gets outside in the open field it can be deadly, so outside contain is crucial for the Ravens. The Ravens have to make sure they cover the running backs in the passing game, Lindsay in particular is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield.
There is a lot of speed on the offense and Emmanuel Sanders is the piece that makes everything go. The offense is designed for receivers to maximize yards after the catch. There is a lot of crossing routes and a lot of lateral routes out to the flats. Baltimore will have to rally to the ball. The passing attack is very layered. Case Keenum will rarely have a lack of options in an offense that attacks the whole field and has a short, intermediate and deep option on most plays, especially on their credibly play-action plays.
How to get the Broncos offense in trouble:
Case Keenum has thrown four interceptions already this season. Keenum won the day with three touchdowns against the Seahawks, but it would have been easier without his three interceptions. Two of Keenum’s picks this season have been passes forced to a route down the seam. One pick was an ill advised throw over the middle of the field after avoiding a sack. The final pick on his 2018 resume was when he under threw a receiver running a corner route. Despite the under throw it was a bad call on Keenum’s part, because there was coverage underneath and over the top. Keenum loves the middle of the field and the seam passes are where he seems to force passes the most. If the Ravens stop the run and make the Broncos one dimensional, they may be able to bait Keenum into picks.